Aussies Abroad: Scott kicks off 2020 at Riviera

You won’t see the 2005 LA Open listed among Adam Scott’s 13 career wins on the PGA TOUR.

He defeated Chad Campbell at the first hole of a playoff on Monday morning yet almost constant rain meant that was only the 37th hole he had played for week, effectively removing it from the history books as an official victory.

He has the trophy at home and as he commences his 2020 season at this week’s Genesis Invitational hosted by Tiger Woods at Riviera Country Club Scott comes in boosted by the confidence that comes with a drought-breaking win and playing at a venue where he has performed well in the past.

Runner-up in his title defence in 2006 and again in 2016, Scott has long had an affinity for Riviera and believes it is the perfect place to return to tournament golf seven weeks after his Australian PGA Championship win.

“I like the course; it’s relatively easy on my mind,” Scott told AAP.

“I know what shots to hit, so it’s a good place to start the year.

“It’s helpful if you putt good around here on the California poa annua greens.”

Australia’s highest-ranked player in the world rankings at No.14, Scott is starting 2020 with designs on finding a partner for his lone major triumph at the Masters in 2013.

Top 10 in nine of his 18 PGA TOUR starts in 2019, Scott made no secret of the importance he placed on winning a second Australian PGA Championship in December, a win more than three years in the making.

It made Christmas taste all that much sweeter and instilled a sense of belief in Scott that a second major is well within reach.

“I’m coming off a good year and I’m not searching for anything like I was going into 2019,” said the 39-year-old.

“All the pieces of puzzle are there, I just have to put them together.

“The bar is always high for me and winning is certainly a big goal this year. Winning the right events, too. The big ones.

“With 20 years of experience, I’d like to think I have a good plan and at the moment I feel really good.”

Scott has been drawn to play with fellow Masters champion Danny Willett and Sung Kang in the first two rounds and will begin from the iconic 10th hole as Woods, Justin Thomas and Steve Stricker are teeing off on the first.

Other Australians in action at Riviera are Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Jason Day, Matt Jones and Aaron Baddeley in what is an invitational 120-man field.

Coming in on the back of two consecutive top-10 finishes, Brett Drewitt has additional incentive to go low at this week’s LECOM Suncoast Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour, pledging a donation for every birdie he makes to help Birdies for Hope in the construction of a building for the Rios de Agua Viva church in Arjona, Colombia.

Joining Drewitt in Florida are fellow Aussies Ryan Ruffels, Brett Coletta, Curtis Luck, Jamie Arnold, Steven Bowditch and Kiwi Steven Alker.

Round 1 tee times (AEDT)

Challenge Tour
Dimension Data Pro-Am
Fancourt Golf Estate, George, South Africa

4.40pm Deyen Lawson, Bryce Easton
9.03pm Daniel Hillier, Martin Rowher

The Genesis Invitational
Riviera Country Club, Los Angeles, California

2.16am Marc Leishman, Brendon Todd, Jim Herman
2.37am Cameron Smith, Nate Lashley, Paul Casey
2.37am*               Jason Day, Xander Schauffele, Aaron Wise
3.19am Danny Lee, Roger Sloan, Erik van Rooyen
6.10am*               Matt Jones, Cameron Tringale, Abraham Ancer
6.41am*               Adam Scott, Sung Kang, Danny Willett
7.34am*               Aaron Baddeley, Charley Hoffman, Harold Varner III

Live TV Coverage: Friday 6am on Fox Sports 503

Defending Champion: JB Holmes

Top Aussie Prediction: Marc Leishman

Korn Ferry Tour
LECOM Suncoast Classic
Lakewood National Golf Club, Florida    

11.44pm               Brett Drewitt, Andrew Svoboda, TJ Vogel
11.55pm               Jamie Arnold, Steven Alker, Lee Hodges
4.16am Steven Bowditch, Ryan Ruffels, Braden Thornberry
4.16am*               Brett Coletta, Nicholas Lindheim, Jamie Lovemark
4.27am*               Curtis Luck, Ryan Brehm, Steve LeBrun

Defending Champion: Mark Hubbard

Top Aussie Prediction: Ryan Ruffels

Champions Tour
Chubb Classic
The Classics at Lely Resort, Naples, Florida

1.37am Rod Pampling, Corey Pavin, Larry Mize
1.48am David McKenzie, Ted Tryba, John Harris
2.51am Stephen Leaney, Craig Bowden, Robin Byrd

Live TV Coverage: Saturday 4am on Fox Sports 503

Defending Champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez

Top Aussie Prediction: Rod Pampling

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